Fire risk reduced thanks to Electric Blanket testing event

From rallying around whanau to re-making beds, urban and rural residents seized the opportunity to get their electric blankets tested for free at the Te Kauwhata Fire Station.

Held on Saturday the 22nd of May, the event resulted in 58 electric blanket tests that were carried out by WEL Networks and Alpha Electrical. Of those tested, four electric blankets posing a fire risk were removed from circulation – potentially mitigating four house fires.

The tests were performed by WEL Networks Faults Support Technician Tim Schollum and Alpha Electrical Operations Manager Mitch Bearman who were happy to take part in the public safety initiative.

“I enjoyed working alongside FENZ and Alpha Electrical. I thought it was a good way to give back to the community and to give them peace of mind that their electric blankets are safe. It was nice to meet members of the Te Kauwhata community. It was a great day, with lots of laughs and people couldn’t thank us enough,” said Tim.

On behalf of the Te Kauwhata Volunteer Fire Brigade, Senior Firefighter Corey Rees thanked WEL Networks, Alpha Electrical; and the community for their support with this event.

“It makes us think how many electric blankets are out there in our community that have not been tested. This is really important that they do get tested and on a regular basis. On a personal note, thank you for the members of the Te Kauwhata Volunteer Fire Brigade that attended this event and helped out,” he said.

“It was encouraging to see Te Kauwhata turn out for the event despite it having been postponed previously, the total number of blankets tested wasn't far off what we did in Hamilton Central Station earlier this year. A big thanks to NZ Fire Service staff who were very accommodating, and it was evident to see they had a great rapport with their community.

“Our team enjoy working alongside WEL Networks to offer this service, and we look forward to seeing even more electric blankets here next year,” Alpha Electrical Operations Manager Mitch Bearman said.

“During winter, be safe, be fire wise and if you need any assistance or fire safety korero to protect your whanau, whare and property, please come and see us. We are happy to help,” said Corey.

Earlier this year, an electric blanket testing event was held at the Hamilton Central Fire Station. 79 electric blankets were tested and six of these were removed due to the fire risk.

With the weather cooling down in the evenings, it’s a timely reminder to make sure you check any electric blankets that you have at home.

For more information on staying safe this winter, click here